Quantum Delta NL News

SURF supports researchers in building the first Quantum Internet in the Netherlands

SURF, the Dutch ICT cooperative of education and research institutions, intensifies its engagement with the quantum technology community. SURF aims to support Dutch researchers in taking an early and competitive advantage of quantum technologies and facilities while these become available. They do this by supporting its development and preparing together with partners and its user community for its effective use.

SURF is well known among researchers as provider of the Dutch national digital infrastructure. Many researchers take advantage of the High Performance Computing power provided by SURF, for large-scale computational research. As such, quantum researchers found their way to SURF already some years ago, since the computational power needed for doing quantum emulations can be substantial. This has lead to the integration of Cartesius as a 31 qubit simulator within QuTech’s Quantum Inspire platform. Current work with partners includes developing connectors and workflows between quantum computers and (classical) supercomputers to enable execution of hybrid quantum simulations.

To stimulate and support the development of quantum applications for scientific research, the company collaborates closely with scientific research groups. Currently, collaborations are set up in the fields of quantum chemistry and quantum machine learning, e.g. for meteorology applications, creating good examples and best practices. Both quantum chemistry and machine learning dominate current workloads of the High-Performance Computing infrastructure at SURF.

For many students as well as researchers, SURF is also known as an internet provider (and home of the famous Eduroam network). Indeed, SURF operates a state-of-the-art network, providing global connectivity for the research and education community. SURF has played a significant role in the adoption and growth of the internet in Europe, collaborating on standards, challenging the market, innovating services and making promising new IT applications available to the community as soon as possible.

SURF is committed to help build the first Quantum Internet in the Netherlands. Therefore, SURF is partner in the Quantum Internet Alliance Flagship project, supporting the development of large-scale NetSquid simulations. Furthermore, the company collaborates with respected partners such as QuTech, KPN and OPNT in a TKI project. As technology is being developed to increase the rate at which qubits can be entangled at distances in the order of 20 km, questions arise about the technical definition of a quantum service. Building on the work of QuTech’s Wehner Group, possible implementations of a quantum network stack are being investigated. In the next five years, SURF aims to see significant progress towards the realisation of a blueprint of a Dutch – and preferably even European – Quantum Internet. With a fiber network connecting all universities and research campuses, SURF is ideally positioned to support the development of quantum communications.